sfcinematheque

Once producing half of the nation’s sugar, the Domino Sugar Refinery was a paragon of industrialism and labor in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Reprising a screening presented at Williamsburg’s UnionDocs in July 2014, this program presents a trio of films which examine labor history and issues of power, using this iconic factory as a lens. Domino Sugar—1989, filmed by Domino employee Kenny Malcom in 1989 and recently edited by Anthony Simon and Michael Vass, is “a time capsule of home video vignettes from 1989 filmed by a Domino Sugar employee that illuminates the diversity of the Domino workforce and the empowerment they felt at the time. Featured is a picket line in front of the Domino site, [and] a union meeting dispute between the Domino workers and the ILA Union organizers.” Animator Sarah Jane Lapp’s Sweetface (2000–2013) is a “personal essay film which uses sugar production as a point of departure to explore a variety of relational moments that involve soft power, gratitude and love. The film evolved from the filmmaker’s hand-production of about 1,000 sugar packets, the majority of which she gave as gifts to workers at the Domino Sugar Refinery during their twenty-month strike in the early 2000s.” Finally, Anthony Simon’s own Third Shift(2014) tours the now desolate and destroyed factory building and presents intimate oral history accounts by Domino Sugar workers living blocks away from the now closed refinery,reflecting on their past experiences as employees and their future as residents in a rapidly changing neighborhood. Live music sets by psycho-blues-noise trip Skyjelly closes the evening.